“Souls Awaiting the Christ” November 2, All Souls

"Souls Awaiting the Christ" Painting: Ronald Raab, CSC

“Souls Awaiting the Christ”
Painting: Ronald Raab, CSC

Dear Believers in the Christ,
We celebrate the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed,
All Souls.
We buried nearly forty members of the Tri-Community this year.
We were called to deathbeds minutes before death.
We received phone calls even in the nighttime reporting death.
We carry within us the grief of those who have died this past year.
We consulted with family members as we heard the stories of life.
We wept with children as they reminisced about their parents.
We listened as children told stories of feeling unloved by parents.
We carry grief in our hearts as parents wept over their dead children.
We listened to adult children speak bitterly about their siblings.
We entered into the mystery of the questions people carry during grief.
We heard the stories of pain and suffering of loved ones before death.
We listened attentively during stories of guilt and shame.
We sat with family members when they wanted to flee the grief.
We listened to miracles and moments of joy.

We buried children this year from our community.
We buried parents this year from the parish.
We buried family members who took their own lives this year.
We buried people overcome with depression and loneliness.
We carried people to their graves who felt that there was no hope in life.
We were attentive to stories of such beautiful memories from loved ones.
We listened to adult children who feel such grief over losing their parents.
We held children who feel earth-shattering grief.
We prayed with family members who cannot get along with one another.
We listened to family members who are hurt and bitter about the Church.
We prayed with people who no longer believe in God.
We cared for people who do not trust clergy.
We prayed with people who were only obliged to attend a funeral.
We covered the bodies of our dead with the same funeral pall.
We carried the cremated remains of bodies to the altar.
We lit the Paschal Candle, the symbol of Christ, for every funeral.
We sang the many songs of hope and love at the Eucharist.
We celebrated the Eucharist over and over again to bid people farewell.
We preached the victory of the Crucified Christ.
We sang songs that calm the heart in grief.
We sang other songs that teach us that faith is all we cling to in death.
We sang songs of farewell, melodies of love and texts of hope.
We walked to the burial places of parishioners and strangers.
We carry within our memories the lives of people here, in our parish.
We hope in Christ that we will one day be reunited with our loved ones.
We remember on this day, All Souls.
—(Text by Raab, CSC from the parish bulletin for the November 2, 2014)

1 thought on ““Souls Awaiting the Christ” November 2, All Souls

  1. Beautiful and powerful reflections, Ron! It’s the ultimate irony that a beautiful funeral liturgy can be so life-affirming. Peace and blessings during this fall season. Advent will be here soon! 🙂 -Dan

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